It’s been even longer than awhile…

When I wrote my last post on July 3rd I thought I was after turning a corner with this stuff and really on my way to get everything done by September – turns out that was a huge mistake. While I continued to have a good July and getting stuff written, my brothers one year anniversary fell on the 25th July and this seemed to spiral m work completely out of control. Rarely one for excuses but after that night, and for the month of August, work was a nightmare. I couldn’t sit down to write, or even try work out what I should be doing. What was more frustrating is I found myself giving my usual excuses to my supervisors, the “oh I’ll get that done by Wednesday so”, or “I’ve just come to the realisation that blah blah blah”.

I’ve decided to put August behind me and start a fresh in September and I’m after some good days. The bit I find hardest is when I’m starting a new section and haven’t a clue how I’m going to structure the chapter, so no idea of what content I need to write – his leads me to quickly click on my Reddit tab which can be unfortunate. I’m currently trying to do my design science cycles but had my first disagreement with my supervisors in the five years I’ve been doing this, over how I should structure the chapter. I’ve gone against there advice for the moment to try show them what I mean, but it can quickly be changed back if it doesn’t suit.

As the chapter itself has gotten way too big, I’ve devised a strategy where I take each section into a Google Doc and write in there like so:

Phase 2



There is something fresh about using Google Docs as its very clean, simple, and doesn’t show word counts or page numbers without you specifically looking for them – good for idea storming. After this I transfer the content into a section word document titles “Design, Build, and Evaluate” which is pretty much the bod of my PhD. This document has grown to be enormous at the moment as can be seen by these figures:


While these figures may look impressive to people, I’m more than aware that there is A LOT of proper writing, cutting, and adding, to be done to this document and all of this begins tomorrow. Hoping to get a decent effort in and sent to my supervisors so they can see there is method to my madness. Finally, as I agreed to do all those months ago, here is the word count of my proper PhD document which won’t have changed much at all as I’m working outside it:



Filed under Writing my Ph.D.

3 Responses to It’s been even longer than awhile…

  1. John Ray

    Good luck Bud, my brothers anniversary just yesterday so I know well how you feel. On the plus side, as I’m sure you know we got a 1st in the end so very pleased. I’m off on hols for 3 weeks on Saturday so I’ll be thinking of you working on google docs while on the beach in Phi Phi next week!

  2. John Ray

    Hey Bud! My brothers anniversary yesterday so I know how you feel. Hope you’re back on track now. As I’m sure you know we eventually got a good grade and I’ll be thinking of you on your google doc next week when I’m sitting on Phi Phi island!

    • Cathal Doyle

      Cheers – I have not heard how you got on actually but well done any way if it was a good grade in the end. Phi Phi island right now sounds like a dream.

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